December – Sugar, Wheat, Dairy, Caffeine, Alcohol free January

Will you join me for the challenge of 30 days of no sugar, wheat, caffeine, dairy or alcohol to kick off the new year? After the holidays I think many of us need to push the reset button.

Too severe? What about 30 days without sugar, or 30 days without alcohol? Cutting out any single one of those five items will give your body a break after the holidays. After all the wonderful rich food and wonderful wine, I crave things that are simple and fresh. We can be an on-line support system for each other.

My brother and sister-in-law introduced me to The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy last spring. I had just returned from several fabulous vacations (Paris, Normandy, and a Caribbean cruise to top things off) to celebrate my retirement. Pastries, wine, French coffee, bread, desserts, rich cheeses…oh my! I had a wonderful time. But, there was a price to pay. Those foods took a toll on my health (I felt sluggish and tired all the time) plus I could not get my body into any article of clothing which was the least bit fitted. Have you been there? So last May I decided to take the challenge. It was rough for the first week, especially the no wine o’clock and no caffeine to jump start the day. But by the end of that first week I noticed I was sleeping better, and feeling more energized when I woke up in the morning. I was even in a better mood. After 30 days I had not only dropped those pounds but felt amazing. I normally eat a fairly healthy diet, avoiding sugar and refined carbohydrates. But I am not stingy with the olive oil, drink wine and tea regularly, and love dairy products (especially my favorite goat cheese). This was definitely a re-set.

Ms. Pomroy is a fan of the slow cooker, myself not so much. But I found new ways to prepare food without the addition of a lot (or any) oil. There is a long list of whole grains, fruits and vegetables which are allowed. Although wheat is off the menu, you can eat sprouted wheat bread. I found a few brands that are delicious. 100% sprouted wheat is now my preferred bread and I have been experimenting with making sourdough bread with sprouted wheat flour. Some studies have said that sprouted wheat is metabolized more like a vegetable.

Our house in Oakland goes on the market January 28. The last 8 weeks have been spent packing, donating, discarding, and clearing. It’s a physically and emotionally draining experience to literally touch everything you own and make a decision about it. The boxes and furniture will go into storage temporarily and we will move into a furnished apartment for a few months. We are definitely downsizing. Our garage hasn’t been empty since we moved into this house 27 years ago. We have kept what we love and what we use weekly. It’s time for my interior to go through the same kind of conscious cleanse.

The Fast Metabolism Diet has three phases during each week. Phase 1 (Monday and Tuesday) favors complex carbohydrates and fruit plus lean protein, phase 2 (Wednesday and Thursday) is high protein and low carbohydrate, phase 3 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) is more generous with the addition of healthy fats and a balanced mix of carbohydrates and protein. I found it possible to eat in most restaurants on the weekend without breaking the diet. The phases are repeated for 4 weeks.

My friends and I are starting the program on January 8, Monday. That’s because I host an open house on New Year’s Day each year and we wanted to enjoy ourselves at the party. We will have a week to prepare and stock the appropriate foods. Stay tuned for menus, pictures and posts of our “adventure”. And let me know if you would like to join us for the 30 days.


14 thoughts on “December – Sugar, Wheat, Dairy, Caffeine, Alcohol free January

    • I think I will be ready by January 8. Meanwhile I intend to enjoy the holidays as much as possible. Hope your own is enjoyable, filled with laughter and love.

  1. Liz, this intrigued me greatly and I’ll be thinking about your challenge in depth from now until Jan. 8th. (I function best under a deadline, lol!) Thanks for including the link to The Fast Metabolism Diet — informed decisions and all that 🙂 — I’ve been feeling the need for a “reset”.

    • Hello Kim, Happy New Year! I hope you join us for all or some of the 30 days. It really made a difference to how I felt in May and I am feeling rather “ragged” again. I am doing this with two good friends and we will support each other as well as anyone online who would like to join. I know a friend in Texas is going to give up alcohol for 30 days. I hope folks will comment how they are feeling.

  2. I wish I had that much determination. What I have done though is walking…I walk at least five miles a day. Good luck, I will follow along on your endeavor.

  3. Hi Karen, Happy New Year! Good for you, that is a healthy goal as well. I think I am doing well to get in my 10,000 steps/day.

  4. I’ll follow your progress with interest. I’ve given them all up for a variety of reasons, plus my e-cigarette so no nicotine either. Unsurprisingly I’ve turned to food (sugar) for comfort and gained weight I now need to lose … so hopefully I’ll find inspiration from your efforts to defeat the Sugar Monster!

    • Sugar can be a comfort, at least until it lets you down. That’s a lot to give up on a permanent basis. 28 days seems like a walk in the part by comparison.

      • I slipped the disk in my jaw, which caused TMJ and Trigeminal Neuralgia – so now if I take in any stimulant my injured nerve reacts and sends my head muscles into spasm, the avoiding of which is a fabulous incentive to cut stimulants out! The nerve reacts least to sugar so unfortunately when I’m feeling sorry for myself … but you are right. Tough as it is, sugar is not my friend.

      • I am so sorry! What a terrible way to get incentive. We have to have a few pleasures in life though.

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